I recently heard this comment from a student, ‘I look around at others and they seem to have it all. Things would be easier if I could be them. I know I would be happier.’
This is what I know: It’s OK to admire others. The danger occurs when kids believe that they would be happier if they were someone else.
People’s lives often look better from the outside. They might post perfect pictures on social media or it may seem that things come easily to them or that they are happy all the time. Reminding our children that everyone has challenges and everyone experiences difficult emotions is essential to their overall well-being.
Instead of envying others, we must model and teach kids to choose to work on being the best person that they can be – to take pride in who they are and their uniqueness. Defining who they are and the character traits that are important to them helps build confidence, self-acceptance and resilience.
Here is an affirmation exercise to help your kids admire and love who they are:
Starting with ‘I am _____________and I am enough’, ask them to fill in the blank with the answer to this question: What do you want to believe about YOU? Some examples of what they could put in the blank are: confident, thoughtful, accepting, empathetic, kind.
Once completed, place it somewhere so that it is a visual reminder of what they want to believe about themselves.
Have your child repeat it daily. This will remind them that they are important, that they are somebody. It will create a feeling of happiness and pride the more they repeat and believe it.
Teaching children to celebrate and be proud of who they are compared to no one else, boosts their self-esteem, self-confidence and will ultimately make them feel capable of navigating day-to-day challenges and emotions.
Until next time…
8 Mar 2023
Can Compliments Cultivate Kids Confidence?
We want kids to be confident enough to give a compliment and to receive one.
However, their role models (the adults in their life) may respond to a compliment with, ‘No I’m not.’ By responding this way, it models to children to deflect the compliment which doesn’t allow those kinds words to be absorbed and used to cultivate confidence.
THIS IS WHAT I KNOW:
If a person gives a compliment, it means that they have taken the time to recognize you.
When you receive a compliment, model fully accepting it by choosing to smile and say thank you.
Share with your kids how those compliments made you feel and why you appreciate them.
When kids hear and see this as a way to respond to a thoughtful compliment, it teaches them to confidently do the same.
Modelling and teaching children to not only graciously receive a compliment but also to give one is an important part of their emotional and social development.
Too often we keep compliments to ourselves rather than letting others know what we are thinking or we brush off the compliment given to us rather than being grateful for the praise we have received.
When my son tells me something complimentary about someone, I let him know that saying the compliment directly to the person is a way of celebrating them. I remind him that accepting a compliment is a way others celebrate him.
Challenge yourself and your children to give and receive compliments throughout the day that not only show you appreciate others but you also appreciate yourself.
Compliments have power for both the giver and the receiver to enhance emotional and mental well-being and boost confidence.